Step 5: Minimize Risks When Managing Pests
Gain knowledge and an understanding of the beneficial services provided by insects and their important role in the ecological food chain. Embrace insect biodiversity in your Jersey-Friendly Schoolyard.
Why It’s Important
Insects play a key role in sustaining plant life – they are the basis of all ecological food chains.
Landscaping for pollinators has many benefits. Your Jersey-Friendly Schoolyard can provide valuable habitat for declining native bee populations, support endangered species such as Monarch butterflies, and provide sustenance to other important and beneficial insects. Pollinator gardens offer opportunities for observation and scientific research, and lend themselves to important biology and ecology lessons.
Visit Step 5: Minimize Risks When Managing Pests on the Jersey-Friendly Yards website for more tips, tools and resources.
5A: Explore the important role of pollinators and other insects in sustaining life.
Provide a lesson to your students about insects and their important role as pollinators or as part of your garden’s web of life. Your lesson should support your school curriculum and be tailored to the insects that live in your area. Ideas include:
- Life cycles of insects,
- Soil food web,
- Bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects,
- Macroinvertebrates in streams, and
- Coevolution of insects and plants.
Resources for Lessons about Insects
- Cycles of Insect Life (PKK)
- Go Bug! (UE)
- Kids Gardening: Soil is Alive – Exploring the Organisms that call Soil Home (MS, HS)
5B: Learn about the harmful effects of pesticides on pollinators.
Provide a lesson to your students about the connections between pesticide use in the environment and pollinator decline. What are the implications of pollinator decline on farming and food? What are some local level solutions?
RESOURCES FOR LESSONS ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF PESTICIDES ON POLLINATORS
- Beyond Pesticides – Pollinator Curriculum (AG)
- Plants for Human Health Institute: Pollinators on the Decline – Problem-Based Lesson (LE, UE)
5C: Learn about invasive insect species.
Provide a lesson to your students about invasive insect species and their impacts on other plants, insects, or other natural resources in our environment. What are the implications of invasive species on our native ecosystems? What are some local level solutions?
Resources for Lessons about Invasive Insects
General Resources about pollinators and other insects
- Xerces Society: Become an X-Kid! Join the Adventure and Help Xerces Save Beautiful Invertebrates!
- Xerces Society Education Resources for Teachers and Parents Who Want to Inspire the Next Generation to Care for Invertebrates
- Background Info for Teachers: Xerces Society – Pesticides and Pollinators Threats and Solutions (webinar)
- Integrated Pest Management Institute: What is Integrated Pest Management?
- New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition: Schoolyard Ecology, Creating a Butterfly Garden for NJ Schools and Afterschool Programs
- Pollinator Partnership
- Pollinator Partnership: Bee Smart School Garden Kit
- Monarch Watch
- Xerces Society: Pollinator Conservation for Yards and Gardens
- Project Learning Tree: Pollinators – Why They’re Important and How Schools Can Help
- Green Schools Alliance: Pollinator Garden Campaign
- Edutopia: Bringing the Natural World to Students with a Pollinator Garden
- National Wildlife Foundation: Plant and Create Pollinator Habitat Gardens
- Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey: Pollinator Conservation
- Rutgers Gardens: Pollinator Garden
- New Jersey Audubon: Protecting Pollinators
- Cornell Botanic Gardens: Creating a Pollinator Garden for Native Specialist Bees – for New York and the Northeast
- USDA Animal and Plant Inspection Service: Dr. Elaine’s Soil Food Web and How It Works
- U.S. Forest Service: Pollinators
- Xerces Society: Pollinator Conservation Program – Teachers and Educators
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